Recycled coffee made into shampoo 

oright recoffee coffee recycled into shampo

I loved this range as soon as I read the press release, before I’d even seen the product – and then loved it more after I tried it: shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hair oil by O’Right made from recycled coffee grounds collected from cafes and coffee shops in Taiwan. The granules are ground down into an oil and infused into the products. How cool is that?

As well as being super savvy on the recycling front, the ground coffee is also good for hair, they say. Apparently the caffeine can help stimulate the hair shaft encouraging hair growth. Labelled moisturising for dry/damaged hair, the shampoo which I use, leaves my hair very soft even without conditioner. The scent is mild – not like smelling a coffee bean as you might expect – but just the faintest hint of its former life. 

All the products are free from sulphates and manufactured in an eco friendly factory that uses solar and wind power for production. I also love the (biodegradable) packaging that’s strikingly modern, with little wooden tops and sleek necks. Like nothing else in my shower. I’d like to try the hair oil next. 

For more eco points, the Tree in a Bottle products have coffee seeds built into the base so you can plant your Recoffee bottle once you’ve finished with it and you might end up with a coffee tree of your very own, starting the cycle all over again. Smart.

O’Right does is a Taiwanese company that is flying the flag for eco haircare and their tagline is The World’s Greenest Shampoo. Love it. Check out the range at oright.co.uk

What is co-washing aka no-poo shampoo?

Co-washing or no-poo as it’s also commonly known, is the latest craze in hair and beauty that’s likely to be this year’s biggest buzzword, especially with the launch of Ojon Cleansing Conditioner and Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme. But what is co-washing or no-poo exactly?

Short for conditioner-washing, co-washing is also called no-poo because this new beauty phenomenon is all about ditching regular shampoo and turning to conditioner to wash hair instead. It’s a trend that started over the pond where US women with afro, thick, curly or coarse hair have literally been washing their hair with conditioner. RIP for shampoo? Let’s see.

What is the benefit of washing with conditioner? People recommend co-washing for a more nourishing and hydrating way to cleanse, especially for curly, dry or afro hair. As textured hair is coarser and dryer, sulphate-loaded shampoos can simply be too drying. In fact, most people’s hair would benefit from silicone and sulphate-free cleansing (see a few of my recommendations here).

How does co-washing work? Cleansing conditioners contain no foaming agents, just a blend of essential oils that work to break down dirt and oil on the scalp and hair. There is no lathering or foaming but you just massage product onto scalp and hair and spread it through the lengths and leave it on for a few minutes. It might feel strange not having a soapy wash but results are worth it. Cue shiny, soft and plumped-up hair.

As the trend has spread, haircare brands have responded by launching cleansing conditioners as new, separate products. Wen by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner is one of them that landed on my desk a few months ago via QVC.

wen hair cleansing conditioner reviewWen Cleansing Conditioner is a luscious cream conditioner packed with at least five different plant oils, all fairly high up on the ingredients list, and free from Sodium Laurel Sulphate. It smells mildly sweet and refreshingly minty, just as the label says.

I found the instructions tricky to follow at first, just because it’s so different to what we’re used to doing. But that’s a psychological issue of getting used to doing something completely different, i.e. washing foam-free with conditioner.

Instead of a small dollop, you need 10-16 pumps of product, which is a lot, so of course the first few times I tried it I never used quite enough (kind of got tired of pumping and worried I’d have nothing left in the bottle for next time).

Then you have to massage into hair for at least three-five minutes; again I got tired and probably didn’t massage for long enough so never quite achieved the right effect.

Hmmm, I persevered and tried again.

This time I followed the instructions to the letter. Much better! I used the recommended number of pumps so there was enough product to move around the scalp and through the lengths of hair; adding a little bit of water helped with the consistency. I also tried splitting the recommended amount between two rounds of washing, that was also an excellent tip.

I felt like I’d cracked the co-washing thing – massage scalp deeply, allow it to settle for a few minutes and don’t expect the same washing experience as with a shampoo – this is nothing like shampooing so it’s best not to compare. Even the results are different.

Once I got it right, the results were amazing – very shiny and very soft hair but not at all limp, like you might expect. This was plumped-up soft and full of life. I don’t have thick, dry or curly hair – it’s actually quite fine but lots of it – and this made it feel thicker and fuller. (To keep the experiment real, I made no difference to styling: I rough blow-dried and tied in a bun as usual and shook it all out when fully dry).

1 month later….. At first, I couldn’t co-wash all the time because I was still used to the squeaky clean feeling of conventional shampoo. But then I saw how well my hair was looking and feeling and found I was washing less frequently too.

With WEN my hair genuinely stays fresher, fuller and cleaner for longer, with no limpness for several more days than normal shampoo – that’s that bit I love the most. Now I find it hard to reach for shampoo again as I know it’s not as kind to hair and my hair won’t stay as fresh for so long.

Since the experiment started I’ve also tried Ojon Cleansing Conditioner and new Purely Perfect Creme Cleanser (review to follow) and now I only go back to shampoo occasionally. I genuinely believe cleansing conditioners are the way forward – they’re so much kinder on hair, because they don’t contain synthetic foaming agents, and make a statement with impressive results.

Another great conditioning product to try – Ogario Restore and Shine Hair Masque. This amazing product has been winning awards all over the place in recent months and well-deserved too: ingredients lean on the natural and botanical – avocado oil, lavender, and eight essential oils – and even the protein complex that’s exclusively created by the brand, is a mixture of plant-derived proteins. So hair is basically getting a really good feed.

ogario_restore_shine-hair-masque

Again, results are very very shiny and soft hair – almost like you can’t believe it’s your own hair. This product has also been recommended for co-washing but I’m yet to try.

What price great hair? Well, neither come in at high street prices (Wen is £26.95 and Ogario is £26.50) but they will last for a really long time and whether you use them for co-washing or normal conditioning, you’ll have genuinely great hair in return (none of this fake silicone shine). So not a bad deal really.

 

Why use silicone and sulphate-free shampoo?

why buy sulfate silicone free shampoos4

Choosing shampoos and conditioners can be a minefield. Luckily shampoos and conditioners free from silicones and sulphates are finally coming out of the murky shadows of dusty health food shop shelves and into the mainstream. I say luckily because they are SO much better for your hair.

Silicone-loaded shampoos, serums and hair styling products are great for the temporary illusion of soft, shiny hair, but there’s a catch. These products, masquerading as miracle workers can actually weigh hair down and dry it out.

Silicones are synthetic ingredients that give products a silky slip. It’s the ‘luxurious’ feel you’re fooled into believing is good for your hair but regular or over-use of silicone-loaded products could mean bad hair days are just around the corner. Why? Because…

– Silicones can form a think layer on the surface of the hair that stops conditioner and hair treatments from penetrating through. So after spending all that money on an expensive hair mask, it’s pretty much useless with layers of silicone in the way. Hmmm.

– Silicone is also thought to act as a barrier to hair dye (which most of us spend a fortune on too) because similarly, it can block hair from retaining other ingredients such as colour pigments.

Over to Sulphates – these are synthetic detergents that can irritate sensitive scalps but also strip hair of essential oils and moisture – in the same way as over use of soaps and shower gels loaded with SLS can strip skin of its natural oils. So expect dry, damaged hair in the long-run too.

For the past few years I’ve stuck to shampoos that are a little off the beaten track but are genuinely worth seeking out. Hair doesn’t feel as loaded with gunk and it stays fresher and cleaner for longer. You also don’t need to use as much – quite often a 10p sized piece is enough.

Shampoos that are silicone or sulphate-free do feel a little bit different – less foamy and creamy because they don’t contain synthetic foaming agents but that’s just something I got used to. However, the new generation of shampoos coming out are clever enough to lather up and feel just as moisturising to use.

Annoyingly ingredients you may want to avoid are not always easy to identify as silicones have a multitude of names but the ones to watch and avoid if you want to take care of your hair are non-water soluble silicones. As the name suggests, they do not wash out so keep an eagle-eye out for:

  • Dimethicone
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Phenyl trimethicone

My current favourite shampoos that contain no or less silicone and sulphates are: 

Australian Native Botanicals 

Discovered at the launch of Marks & Spencer’s new beauty department in Marble Arch – where you can shop for niche brands, usually restricted to online retailers – this clear shampoo feels good and smells so fresh and uplifting. I love the pump dispenser too.

Reasonably priced at £7.50 I would easily choose this as my daily shampoo especially as the ingredients are organically grown, formulas are boosted with essential oils and it looks pretty good too. Buy it here.

Australian Native Botanicals shampoo

Alterna Professional Caviar Repair X Re-Texturising Protein Cream

Ideal for dry and mature hair, this Caviar Repair X range contains caviar oil so I’m guessing it’s not vegetarian (but I will check). The shampoo and conditioner, however, are free from sulphates, parabens and sodium chloride which makes me trust the brand as one that genuinely cares about hair’s condition. Please note, Alterna products do contain some silicones but I’ve been told by the in-house team they are ‘smart-silicones’ which means they are water soluble and graded so finely they do not damage hair. 

Re-Texturising Protein Cream has become my hair hero – it literally looks like I’ve just stepped out of a salon after I blow-dry with it. Hair is bouncy, soft and looking healthy – you would never guess I have an inch of dry, ugly split ends! Buy it from 01925 578000.

Alterna Caviar Repair Protein Cream

Organic Surge Volume Boost Shampoo

Great for small budgets (at a brilliant £5.10) this shampoo is large in size and makes hair look full of life. It contains plant extracts to scent and nourish with no synthetic foaming ingredients. It’s also suitable for vegetarians and vegans, hoorah! Buy it here.

organic surge volume boost shampoo

Kae Argatherapie Repairing Shampoo

Just love this French brand with products based on organic argan oil. An impressive list of natural ingredients caught my eye in the Repairing Shampoo: coconut, nettle, argan, rosewood and ylang ylang – sounds delish! There’s also a serum oil which looks divine and would treat hair far more naturally than a certain brand’s frizz eaze. Buy here.

Kae Repairing Shampoo

Green People Sun & Sports Shampoo

Get this on your beauty shopping list if you’re embarking on a winter sun or ski holiday. Sulphate, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol), paraben, phthalate and artificial fragrance-free you would never need to worry about drying hair out. Organic avocado, plant proteins, jojoba and artichoke act as great natural conditioners too – sounds good enough to eat. It’s also veggie and vegan. A trusted, fail-proof choice.

green people sun and sports shampoo

Ojon Shampoos

Last but not least is Ojon – fantastic shampoos on the higher end of price scale (£18-£20) but they last a really long time because a 20p-sized amount is plenty for a head of (shoulder length) hair. The Volume Advance and Colour Sustain are ones I’ve tried and loved so definitely worth considering the latter if you’re looking for colour-care. Check them out here. Please note, some Ojon shampoos contain some silicones but the new Ojon Rare Blend is free from sulphates and silicones. 

ojon colour sustain shampoo

Which natural shampoos have you tried? Let me know and feel free to recommend! Thanks for reading.

Follow me on Twitter for more updates @YanarBeauty.